Lanarkshire incommerce iss19 issuu

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Douglas Park

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THE DRIVING FORCE FOR BMW BUSINESS OFFERS. Leading offers for self-employed, sole traders, partnerships and limited companies. Ask today if your business qualifies.









Call Barry Milne on 07799 117367 or email or Ross Mackay on 01698 303700 or email


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Official fuel economy figures for the BMW range: Urban 13.8-72.4mpg (20.5-3.9l/100km). Extra Urban 30.491.3mpg (9.3-3.1l/100km). Combined 21.1-83.1mpg (13.4-3.4l/100km). CO2 emissions 314-89g/km. Figures may vary depending on driving style and conditions.

*Business users only. Representative example: plus £1,230 initial rental. Price shown excludes VAT at 20% and is for a 24 month Business Contract Hire agreement for a BMW 318i Sport Saloon with a contract mileage of 8,000 miles and an excess mileage charge of 12.60p per mile apply. Applies to new vehicles ordered between 01/01/16 and 31/03/16 and registered by 30/06/16 (subject to availability). At the end of your agreement you must return the vehicle. Excess mileage, vehicle condition and other charges may be payable. Available subject to status to UK residents aged 18 or over. Guarantees and indemnities may be required. The amount of VAT you can reclaim depends on your business VAT status. Terms and conditions apply. Offer may be varied, withdrawn or extended at any time. Hire provided by BMW Financial Services (GB) Limited, Summit ONE, Summit Avenue, Farnborough, Hampshire GU14 0FB. Douglas Park Limited is an Appointed Representative of Park’s of Hamilton (Holdings) Limited, of 14 Bothwell Road Hamilton ML3 0AY, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, FRN 308476. We commonly introduce customers to a selected panel of lenders including BMW Financial Services. We may receive commission or other benefits for introducing you to such lenders. This introduction does not amount to independent financial advice.

Contents Welcome...................................... 3 News in Brief................................ 4 Mum’s the word for QTS........... 10 The town that keeps marching on................................ 12 Lanarkshire map of featured towns........................... 17 Apprentice opportunities at Clyde wind farm......................... 18 Are you ready to enrol?.............. 21 University of the West of Scotland.................................. 22


New Members........................... 26

New Year lottery funds.............. 34 A sticky solution to an age old problem................................ 35 I didn’t get where I am today..... 39 Ask The Professionals................. 40 The Political Column.................. 42

Lanarkshire Chamber of Commerce Suite 4, West Stand New Douglas Park Cadzow Avenue Hamilton ML3 0FT t: 01698 426882 f: 01698 424699 e:

For advertising contact DTech on T: 0141 222 2202 E: Editorial management by Blueprint Media


ello and, as ever, welcome to the latest edition of InCommerce. First, we continue our highly-praised series on the great, vibrant and invariably historic towns of Lanarkshire. With this edition, we have reached our eighth town in a 12 town series – the esteemed Burgh of Wishaw, whose strengths and virtues all too often have lain in the shadow of its larger and often noisier neighbour, Motherwell. We celebrate Wishaw’s achievements as well, of course, as the achievements and successes of the entrepreneurs, businesses and council managers who have made it a town to watch over the next decade or so. We look, too, at the importance and influence of the construction industry in Lanarkshire – the essence of a can-do sector which has stamped its signature of quality and “built-to-last” characteristics across Scotland and the rest of the United Kingdom. Your Chamber of Commerce is on the rise – our attraction each month to numbers of new members is unprecedented – and in our “new members” section we feature a clutch of businesses, not least the newspaper publishing titan that is Media Scotland, which has recognised that there is an urgent need in these challenging times to come together and join the leadership body that is the Lanarkshire Chamber of Commerce.

We feature also a number of additional, thriving entrepreneurially-led businesses which have joined us in the last quarter. In this issue we recognise also the consistent efforts of Business Gateway Lanarkshire in supporting our aspiring entrepreneurs with guidance and the signposting of financial, legal and intellectual property assistance which will help them become serious players in the Scottish, UK, European and global business stages. As ever, this issue contains a number of highly enlightening articles, including an inspiring piece by North Lanarkshire Councillor Rosa Zamborini, on how women, working from home, are calling upon the huge potential of the internet to build income-generating and potentially highly successful local businesses. There is much to be excited about in our Lanarkshire business world and we invite all of our readers to share their business experiences with our increasing number of readers. With all best regards,

Neil Kennedy Chief Executive, Lanarkshire Chamber of Commerce.

E: Publisher: DTech Distribution: DTech Distribution InCommerce is published by DTech. Suite3.3, Station House, 34 St Enoch Square, Glasgow G1 4DF. Telephone 0141 222 2202. E-mail: Editorial management by Blueprint Media E: InCommerce is fully protected by copyright and nothing may be printed wholly or in part without the written permission of the publishers. The proprietors of this magazine are publishers and not agents, or sub-agents of those who advertise therein. They cannot be held liable for any loss suffered as a result of information gained from this publication. The views expressed by authors of articles published in this magazine are solely those of the author and are not necessarily the views of or shared by the editor, nor the publisher or the directors, shareholders and/or employees of DTech Publishing Ltd.

The Chamber is grateful to our partners for their financial support.


On solid foundations.................. 31


It never hurts to ask................... 28



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All together: the team at Consarc Engineering. Below, award day and products.



Consarc Engineering wins Queen’s Award E


urocentral’s Consarc Engineering has received the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in International Trade for 2015. The award, which attracts a range of the UK’s very best businesses, followed an in-depth, five-month judging process. Part of the worldwide Inductotherm Group, Consarc is an induction manufacturing business with more than 50 years’ experience in the production of metal alloys, speciality alloys and engineered materials. Its Holytown factory is equipped with state of the art advanced vacuum furnaces and controlled atmosphere furnaces. Continuous investment in cutting-edge furnace technology has allowed Consarc to maintain an unbroken history of quality, while consistent adherence to principles of product quality management in complex process metal fabrication has led to the company holding formal Quality Assurance (QA) certification since 1989. As a result, its hallmark of reliable quality has fuelled expansion which, in turn, has been instrumental in winning the Queen’s Award. Managing Director Eric Rennie said: “Since we were in fierce competition for what is in effect an international trade award, we had to show consistent growth; it took several months to complete the application, including lots of written reports and background information and I believe that our success is testament to the design of our equipment which is used by companies worldwide. “For a relatively small business like ours to earn the Queen’s Award is a fantastic achievement. We have been designing and manufacturing vacuum furnaces for more than 50 years; we are still exporting and, as a result, thriving.” Consarc Engineering provides more than simply design and manufacture, however. Because of the complex industrial processes involved, the heating and melting of metal requires knowledge which can only be amassed from years of experience. The company provides the industry’s highest level of technical support and service, and provides training including hands-on, classroom-based, and “train the trainers” facilities for the complete installation-to-product service. Such are the characteristics which won it the Queen’s Award. Its reputation for quality has created a plethora of export opportunities, but it still maintains a thriving national sales base, which has recently demonstrated its value with the sale of a Bottom Loading Vacuum Heat treatment furnace to a major UK aerospace firm. With increasing opportunities in alternative energy sources and in the world’s fast developing economies the future looks bright for Consarc Engineering. For more information, visit

Sales, profits and staffing surge as Document Data Group continues upward growth trajectory Justin Longmuir, Operations Director.

Highlights of the group’s success this year include: Turnover up to £3.3 million in the year ending December 2015, up from £2.2 million in the previous year and £1.6 million in the year before.

• Margins up by 14%. numbers up from five in 2013 to 26 last year and at least 35 • Sbytaffearly 2016.

The success we currently are experiencing and the major investments we are now able to make are underpinned by the past few years of prudent financial management

he appointment of additional high-calibre executives, including • TSteve Young and David Black formerly of Concept Group (now Xerox) as Group Sales Director and Sales Director respectively, and Ben Whitehead, formerly of Canon, as IT director. Document Data Group has also established an office in Dunfermline, with a complement of three, to drive sales in the east of Scotland and is winning significantly bigger accounts with clients in multi-site operations. Mr Longmuir said: “The success we currently are experiencing and the major investments we are now able to make are underpinned by the past few years of prudent financial management. We are now reaping the dividends. “We have also attracted the services of a leading accountancy firm to provide us with very high quality management accounts information and will advise us on acquisitions which we are now actively pursuing.” Document Data Group, which was a finalist in 2014’s Small Business Lanarkshire awards, has attracted a portfolio of high-profile clients, including the Lawn Tennis Association, which retained its services for the Davis Cup competition. The business uses innovative printer technology which is crucial to effective business operation. It has expertise in all aspects of convergence technology including printers, photocopiers, fax, franking mailroom services, electronic document management (EDM), scanning and archival.


ocument Data Group, one of the UK’s most dynamic office technology specialists, has been celebrating record sales, increased profits, a significantly strengthened management team and growing headcount. The remarkable growth of the award-winning East Kilbride-based company, which specialises in multi-functional photocopiers, managed print services and document management, comes on the back of a surge in orders from clients across the UK. And the continuing success has boosted not only the numbers of high-quality jobs but also the group’s involvement in the Modern Apprentice programme, with another four young people being taken on this year. A move to bigger premises, still within Lanarkshire, is also on the cards. Justin Longmuir, Operations Director, said: “This is a really exciting time to be in business and Document Data Group is really taking off.”





Taggarts tribute to ‘taches

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undraisers at Taggarts Jaguar Land Rover in Motherwell took inspiration from a 97 year-old photograph and managed to raise £1653.54 for Cancer Research UK during Movember. “We were having a tidy up in the parts department recently when we came across a photograph of Taggarts – or Taggart Bros as it was known back then – which was taken on our present site in 1919”, said David Snowden, Head of Business. “As you can see from the image, a number of our colleagues from 97 years ago are sporting fairly impressive moustaches. When Movember 2015 was approaching, 12 of us decided that it would be inspirational to reproduce the image on December 1, 2015, under the current Taggarts sign, wearing our own Movember moustaches,” he said.


Quartztec Europe continues to deliver for its customers

For more information, visit


Some of the high-tech processes carried out by Quartztec Europe.

rivate investors have snapped up a rare opportunity to buy a company which manufactures very unique products and has been in operation in East Kilbride for almost 25 years. The attraction was the commercial value in the facility’s innovative and world-leading process of high purity natural and synthetic quartz glass fabrication. The company started operations with a small factory within Motorola’s (thereafter Freescale) grounds in the early nineties. It was owned by the German Multi-national company Heraeus Quartz for many years, during which time the company moved to a larger purpose built site in Kelvin South Business Park around 1995. The company was then bought by Multi-lab Quartztec in 2007. The purchase by investors, some of whom are key players and well known within the quartz and semiconductors industries, was concluded in October 2015 and will move the company to a completely new level. Operations Director Gordon Whyte said: “I am pleased to announce that, since the acquisition in October 2015, I will be joined on-site by Mr Ron Jackman who, as well as investing in the company, will take up the role of MD & CEO. “Ron’s wealth of quartz industry experience will be invaluable in helping us drive the company forward. I would like to thank Multi-Lab Limited for its support in the past and wish them the very best for the future. “My colleagues and I look forward to continuing to produce highend quality quartz products and thermocouples for our valued existing and new customers and to expanding our business further on a global scale.” The facility in East Kilbride, now under Quartztec Europe, is an award winning supplier, having gained the National Microelectronic Institute’s (NMI) prestigious Supplier of the Year award in both 2011 and 2014. Outwith these years, it has maintained a high level of consistency in its products and services. It has always been within the NMI’s top 10 suppliers to industry. The NMI is the trade body which supports the microelectronics industry in the UK. Quartztec Europe manufactures high quality quartzglass products for sectors including the semiconductor, photovoltaic and optical fibre industries. In addition, Quartztec holds extensive raw material stocks, provided by Heraeus and Momentive, meaning it has the resilience to meet the most challenging delivery schedules. With the precision and quality required by the semiconductor and defence industries, Quartztec has utilised its Class 1000 clean room facilities to ensure that the more specialised requirements of these industries can be directly shipped to line, without the need for additional tolerance testing. The speed with which Quartztec was fully funded from private investment shows strong support for the highly skilled workforce and long term investment in capital and manufacturing plant that has made Quartztec the go-to name for volume manufacturing of quartz, glass and ceramic products.





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Clean sweep for EK’s curling and workwear supplier Above and right: staff and customers at Corston Sinclair’s extensive showroom.





orston Sinclair of East Kilbride, which has created a niche as the largest European supplier of goods associated with the sport of curling, is also at least as celebrated for its more than 50 years of experience in the workwear business. From its Protective Clothing Centre in East Kilbride’s College Milton North, the business offers a core range of workwear, corporate wear, protective clothing and personal protective equipment from the world’s leading manufacturers. Currently, a representative of the second generation of the family business, Zander McIlwham, son of Chairman, Sandy McIlwham, has taken over the role of Operations Director and has expanded the company’s activities with a large scale investment in embroidering machinery which enables it to create bespoke logos for a variety of indoor and outdoor clothing. In addition to a comprehensive range featuring such well-known brands as Helly Hansen, Caterpillar, and Timberland, Corston Sinclair can now embroider or print workwear and protective clothing with logos and branding to customers’ specifications for orders small and large. Satisfied customers from schools to engineering firms, college teams to councils, and food preparation firms and – yes – curling clubs, all benefit from the family service and comprehensive range of tailored options at Corston Sinclair, all of which can be seen at its Trade Shop and Showroom in Glenburn Road. Zander McIlwham said: “It’s not just the technical range and flexibility of choices that we provide to our customers; I also like to think that, as a family company, it is the close relationship that we offer that keeps people coming back to us and our Protective Clothing Centre. People want to be able to trust the protection we can provide them and their employees.” With Lanarkshire’s history of light and heavy industry, and a recent spike in construction work and renovation, demand has never been higher for a trusted supplier of protective equipment and work wear for trade customers. This, combined with the popularity of bespoke work and leisure clothing brand-embroidered sports equipment, should ensure a healthy order stream in the years ahead. Corston Sinclair’s curling division – – continues as something of an icon among curling aficionados with a wide range in curling accessories, shoes, brushes, clothing and delivery aids from a selection of the largest names in international curling names such as Goldline, Olson and Balance Plus. Zander said: “As an established family of curlers, we have selected our market-leading product range through direct first hand research. We have an intimate understanding of the sport and the people who play it and have set out to bring them the best available products.”



It’s not just the technical range and flexibility of choices that we provide to our customers; I also like to think that, as a family company, it is the close relationship that we offer that keeps people coming back to us


On the right track: Alan McLeish, founder and MD of QTS.

Mum’s the word as Lanarkshire rail contractor QTS grows staff numbers by 63





anarkshire Chamber of Commerce member QTS, a strategic rail operator which helps keep the UK’s rail network rolling forward, increased employee numbers by 40% from 172 to 241 as a result of its staffing-up to cope with a big increase in workloads in its most recent accounting year to 31 March 2015. Significant growth in sales, up by 8% to £70.6 million from £65.4 million in the previous year, was fueled by buoyant sector conditions and an increase in activity south of the border. The company made £6.1 million in pretax profit compared with £6.5 million in the preceding year. QTS specialises in working with its customers to overcome the planning and logistical issues associated with railway operations, such as clearing vegetation from lines and erecting fencing. A holder of a Network Rail Principal Contractor Licence and Rail Plant operating company holding licences which permit it to operate on Network Rail infrastructure and to undertake projects directly for Network Rail, the Drumclogbased business invests continually in specialised machinery and innovative working methods. QTS, whose southern operations are based in Nottingham, is one of seven suppliers who will deliver more than 1,000

maintenance, renewals and enhancements projects improving earthworks, bridges, tunnels, footbridges and station buildings under Network Rail’s £38 billion programme to build a bigger, better UK railway during the five-year period between 2014 and 2019. Founder and MD of QTS Alan McLeish said: “In November 2015, QTS was successful in all 12 lots of Network Rail’s five year Vegetation Framework contract, obtaining tier one status in 10 of the 12 lots. This is a great achievement for the whole QTS team as it cements our status as a national company. “Our growth strategy can be summed up in one sentence: focus on delivering what we are good at.” According to a report in The Herald, QTS has been working to raise its profile to help put it in contention for work overseas as well as across the UK with the potential to win work in countries such as Australia and China amid changes in the global rail industry. A former professional footballer whose career was blighted by injury, Mr. McLeish went on to train as a tree surgeon after doing seasonal forestry work. He developed his current business, QTS from the Quality Tree Surgeons business that he started in 1991 with a loan provided by his mother.

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Like the Romans 2000 years ago, Wishaw is keeping its eyes firmly on the road ahead



town that keeps marching on Streetscape on Main Street, Wishaw.

Exhortation in stone, Wishaw town centre.

Architectural detail, Main Street, Wishaw.

Architectural detail, Main Street, Wishaw.

hat did the Romans ever do for Wishaw? Well there’s the Main Street for a start, straight as an arrow and ideal for the tramping feet of the Legions as they made their way from Hadrian’s Wall through to the remote outposts of empire at the Antonine Wall. They may even have contributed to the town’s name. Some suggest that it could derive from Viashaw, or the road through the woods – though, like many Scots towns, there are other explanations and the true meaning is probably lost in the mists of time. Now, a lot has changed since the centurions marched their sandalclad cohorts along this particular route, but North Lanarkshire Council is ensuring that Wishaw’s main thoroughfare remains an impressive sight, with a series of major improvement works over the past few years. It is providing a more pedestrian-friendly town centre with level, wider and uncluttered pavements as well as slower traffic. Sandstone, granite and stainless steel have been used to create a contemporary look and feel while also complimenting the town’s traditional features, including listed buildings. It is indicative of the community spirit and forwardthinking nature of Wishaw – which like other towns in Lanarkshire was hard-hit by the de-industrialisation of the eighties – to create the best possible urban environment for shoppers, residents, businesses and visitors alike. And there are not many towns which can boast a parkland golf course such as Wishaw Golf Club – designed by legendary golf course architect and former Open

champion James Braid, with many tree lined fairways – just a five iron shot from the bustle of Main Street. In common with many of the towns of North Lanarkshire, Wishaw has had its ups and downs over the years and is still inextricably linked in the minds of many of the older residents with the vast former steel works at Ravenscraig, on whose southern flank it lies. But there is a lot more to the town than the belch of industry and it has successfully re-invented itself as an attractive commuter town for Glasgow, just a short hop away up the M74, and as a well-resourced and pleasant place to live. Little is known of the turbulent period between when the Romans abandoned their northerly settlements and when a small kirk was established in the 12th century by St Nethan, whom Archbishop Usher styled “religiosissimus et doctissimus Nethan”, or pious and learned Nethan. The town was in no hurry to grow. Originally called Cambusnethan and afterwards Wishawtown, the line of the new village was

A lot has changed since the centurions marched their sandal-clad cohorts along this particular route, but North Lanarkshire Council is ensuring that Wishaw’s main thoroughfare remains an impressive sight


Wishaw General Hospital, a major employer in the town.




Modern twist on town centre sign.

marked out only in 1794 and, by the time it was constituted as a burgh in 1855, it had a population of just 5000 souls. Wishaw had a thriving distillery, founded by Lord Belhaven – from a branch of the Hamilton family – in 1825, but it was not until the arrival of the railways in the 1830s, followed by a gasworks and the first of many collieries, that the town really took off.

Victorian architectural extravagance, Wishaw town centre.

But all things pass. Just as Wishaw’s Clydesdale Distillery was killed off by the prohibitions of the First World War, the steel industry also fell to a lethal combination of political and commercial pressures, the last echoes of which are still being heard today as the Dalzell Works, opened in 1872, fight for survival. The names ring out from the past like steam hammers – Wishaw Iron Works, Bone, Connel & Baxter, Clyde Alloy, Anderson Boyes and R Y Pickering – and, towering over them all, the Craig. But the site of the Craig has new life now, though ambitious plans for a £1 billion development to create Scotland’s first new town for more than 50 years and one of Europe’s largest regeneration projects have temporarily stalled amid concerns about the impact of online shopping on the retail element. However, more than £200 million has already been invested, including £70 million on the campus for New College Lanarkshire and the £32 million Ravenscraig Regional Sports Facility. More



In common with many of the towns of North Lanarkshire, Wishaw has had its ups and downs over the years


From the 1850s to the 1980s iron and steel manufacturing defined the town, as well as its neighbour Motherwell, with whom it became a joint burgh in 1920. Smoke filled the air, steel filled the export trains, and the steelworks filled the pay packets of thousands upon thousands of workers.

High quality, sustainable, new build developments in Lanarkshire.



South Wishaw Parish Church.


There is a lot more to the town than the belch of industry and it has successfully re-invented itself as an attractive commuter town for Glasgow



than 330 new homes have been sold and a £2.9 million pubrestaurant has been built by Marston’s. Joint venture company Ravenscraig Ltd – a partnership between Wilson Bowden Ltd, Tata Steel and Scottish Enterprise – which is overseeing the masterplan – will now liaise with North Lanarkshire Council with a view to revising the proposals. Most volume employment in Wishaw now focuses on the service industries and the public sector, such as the NHS which runs Wishaw General Hospital, a district general facility with 626 in-patient beds and Lanarkshire’s maternity unit, which delivers 5500 babies a year. The Royal Mail is also a major employer, with a large mail depot next to Sheildmuir railway station, its northern Grand Victorian church architecture, Wishaw. terminus, from which it operates mail trains to and from London on the West Coast Rail Line. The town is well served with an eclectic mix of shops, from smaller traders on Main Street and midrange stores such as Iceland and Poundland to national supermarket chains such as Asda, Tesco, Morrisons and Aldi. Wishaw also sustains a healthy SME economy,


Small, local retailers thrive in the town centre.

Local hostelry on Main Street.

with many companies thriving in employment hotspots such as the Netherton Industrial Estate, a popular location to the south east of Wishaw town centre. The estate is home to a smaller independent firms as well as national companies, including Daiwa, Avanti Kitchens, Remploy, City Electrical Factors, McTear Contracts, and Bruce Crystal. The local road network offers easy access throughout the Wishaw and surrounding areas. Towns such as Wishaw exemplify the spirit of Lanarkshire – industrious, enterprising and forward looking. Good times and bad times have come and gone, but the people of Wishaw, like the Romans 2000 years ago, keep marching on.


Where we have featured

InCommerce is more than halfway through a series profiling Lanarkshire’s principal towns. So far, as the map indicates, we have shone the spotlight on East Kilbride, Hamilton, Cumbernauld, Motherwell, Airdrie, Strathaven and Coatbridge. If you would like to access any of these profiles you can do so online through the Chamber’s new website.

Where we will be featuring

Lanark will be the focus of the next issue of InCommerce so please get in touch via email if you would like to see your business considered for inclusion.

INcommerce ISSUE 13


THE Lanarkshire


THE Lanarkshire








Linking-up Lanarkshire’s roads Lanarkshire’s confident companies News from UWS


THE Lanarkshire








Agriculture a growing concern



CWR getting youngsters ready for work


ISSUE 22 THE Lanarkshire










THE Lanarkshire












ThE Lanarkshire





ride Eas t Kilb foc us on





also inside Get HMRC to pay your ion business for innovat Investing in our young people’s future in Life sciences drive Lanarkshire




THE Lanarkshire







THE Lanarkshire










• Procurement – are you getting your share from local government? • New era dawns for your Chamber of Commerce




Lanarkshire’s excellence in exporting


INcommerce ISSUE 16

THE Lanarkshire











Apprenticeship opportunities at Clyde wind farm extension





ew apprenticeship positions will be made available at the 54-turbine Clyde wind farm extension as engineering work on the project gathers pace. The main construction works, which are due to last for two years, commenced in July with Jones Bros delivering civil engineering work packages as part of a joint venture with Clyde Extension’s principal contractor Balfour Beatty. Oliver Flattery, Senior Project Manager with SSE, said: “As a responsible developer, SSE works closely with its contractors to maximise the socioeconomic offer during the construction of its projects. We are delighted that Jones Bros is creating a range of opportunities for local people through the Clyde Extension wind farm.” Ten labourers from the surrounding area, as well as a trainee engineer, have already been recruited at the Clyde Extension site, through contractor Jones Bros, with additional plans to recruit local apprentices in early 2016. Garod Evans, Project Manager at Jones Bros, added: “We will take on apprentices from the surrounding areas in early 2016, and will also be creating opportunities for local subcontractors to provide services such as fencing, cleaning and site security.” Clyde wind farm is located between Biggar, Abington and Moffat. For more information, visit

Major engineering underpin the generation of electricity at Clyde wind farm, above.

Pupils have an electric time at Clyde wind farm


right sparks from Abington and Crawford primary schools, above, recently enjoyed a visit to SSE’s Clyde wind farm in South Lanarkshire to learn about different forms of electricity generation. The day started with an interactive classroom session in the Clyde operations building, where the 55 pupils were asked to think about the importance of electricity. This was followed by an exciting coach trip up to the site, where they could see the turbines up close and learn about how a working wind farm operates. Kirstanne Land, SSE Liaison Manager, said: “It was an absolute pleasure hosting the pupils from Crawford and Abington Primary school at Clyde wind farm. Their behaviour on site was excellent and they were all very well informed – asking myself and my colleagues Pauline, Jim and Tony some very good, sometimes very difficult questions. We hope they found the visit interesting and informative. It looks as if may have some future turbine technicians in our midst.” Hazel Orr, Headteacher of Crawford and Abington Primary Schools, said: “The pupils had a fantastic time visiting Clyde wind farm and came back full of enthusiasm about what they had seen and learned. They especially enjoyed seeing a turbine and its blades up close. We would like to thank SSE for organising this visit.” The existing Clyde wind farm comprises of 152 turbines and construction was completed in 2011. A 54 turbine extension to the project is currently in construction.




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ore than 500,000 employers are due to reach their auto enrolment staging dates over the coming months and they will need the help of a trusted financial adviser to put an auto enrolment scheme in place. Auto-enrolment is a vital scheme to get the nation saving but the large jump in the number of employers staging over the next two years will pose real problems when it comes to financial adviser availability. Accountants and financial advisers are being urged to prepare for an expected onslaught of requests for help from clients with impending staging dates. The number of employers set to stage will increase from 46,300 in 2015 to 512,000 in 2016. Such a sudden increase represents a real risk for pension providers, The Pensions Regulator (TPR) and business advisers, who could all struggle to cope with the demands for auto enrolment support from the small business community. If you are considering using an adviser get in touch at the earliest opportunity or you could be facing a fine from TPR for non compliance. Make sure your business is ready to enrol!




A winning formula: Johnny Mone and Jack McGill.

UWS establishes formal partnership with QTV





WS has established a formal partnership with one of the UK’s leading producers of digital sports content, QTV Sports. QTV Sports specialises in live and post-production video content for international federations and national governing bodies and the ‘University-Industry Partnership Agreement’ will see UWS and the Glasgowbased company working on a range of knowledge transfer projects. The University has longstanding links with QTV and over 40 UWS students have undertaken placements at the company. This formal partnership will result in an ever-increasing number of students having the opportunity to benefit from valuable work experience at QTV. Johnny Mone, Head of Enterprise Services at UWS, said: “We are delighted to have established this important partnership with QTV Scotland. “The University is committed to making a key contribution to the growth of the Scottish economy and has close ties with a number of organisations and businesses throughout the

country. This new partnership will have important benefits for our students and academic teams, and will enable us to establish a valuable, new partner relationship.” Jack McGill, CEO of QTV Sports, said: “Providing young people with employment opportunities is a key part of our ethos at QTV Sports. We’re proud of our record of introducing the next generation of TV sports production staff to the industry and hope that this new partnership will lead to a wider range of benefits for both UWS and QTV Sports in the future.”

Providing young people with employment opportunities is a key part of our ethos at QTV Sports QTV Sports works with over 20 sports including organisations such as the International Cricket Council, International Hockey Federation, and with British Tennis. In Scotland they have provided live event coverage for a wide range of sports governing bodies, including last November’s Scottish Open Badminton Grand Prix at the Emirates Arena and last December’s Scottish National Shortcourse Swimming Championships at the Royal Commonwealth Pool in Edinburgh.

New Vice Principal and Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research and Enterprise) named by UWS In this key senior management positon he leads the delivery of the University’s research and enterprise enabling plan; innovation and knowledge exchange; commercial exploitation and development; business development; and student employment and work placements. Commenting on his appointment at UWS Professor Mesbahi said: “UWS has an extremely strong reputation within the UK higher education sector and it’s an exciting time to have joined the University.” Professor Craig Mahoney, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of UWS, said: “We are delighted that Ehsan has taken up the extremely important post of Vice Principal and Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research and Enterprise) and leads the development of research activity aligned to our new Corporate Strategy.” UWS is a teaching-led modern university that is research informed and received very positive ratings in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF). The results, published in December 2014, highlight the international excellence of a number of areas of the University’s research. Overall the University saw its research recognised at ‘international’ standing in terms of its originality, significance and rigour. Building on this success, figures released in 2015 by Innovate UK, which manages the UK Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) programme, lists UWS as the second most active knowledge transfer higher education institution in Scotland.

UWS has an extremely strong reputation within the UK higher education sector and it’s an exciting time to have joined the University

Professor Ehsan Mesbahi: new year, new post.


niversity of the West of Scotland has appointment Professor Ehsan Mesbahi as its new Vice Principal and Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research and Enterprise). Professor Mesbahi, who took up the post in January 2016, joined UWS from Newcastle University International Singapore (NUIS) where he held the position of Dean and Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Professor Mesbahi, who has over 20 years’ experience of working in the higher education sector, also held the post of Chair of Marine Informatics at Newcastle University. Professor Mesbahi has an extremely strong research background in marine engineering and was the founder and director of Newcastle University Marine International (NUMI). He has served in a number of strategic and policy making committees such as United Nation’s Marine Environmental Protection Committee (MEPC); Chair of Newcastle University’s Governance Committee for Internationalisation, (Singapore); the Management Board of the Newcastle Institute for Research on Sustainability (NIRes); as well as a strategic advisor to many governments and universities for development of their research, academic and global policies and implementation plans. During his academic career he has been the project lead on over 25 national and international research projects, generating research grants totalling over £10 million. As Vice Principal & Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research & Enterprise), Professor Mesbahi will grow UWS’s range and quality of research activity in support of its academic ambitions.




On the A-list: Professor Belinda Dewar.

Academic named in prestigious Nursing Times Leaders list





rofessor Belinda Dewar, Professor of Practice Improvement at University of the West of Scotland’s Institute for Care and Practice Improvement, has been named in the Nursing Times Leaders list for 2015. The Nursing Times (NT) announced its list of the country’s most inspirational nursing leaders in 2015 at a reception in London on 30 September. The 48 individuals come from all aspects of the nursing profession including frontline patient care, management, research and academia, national organisations and charities. Many of the leaders were nominated by NT readers, and the list was selected by a panel of expert judges that included the chief nursing officer for Northern Ireland, and has been endorsed by the chief nurses of all four countries in the UK. The Nursing Times Leaders recognises and celebrates nurses and midwives who are pioneers, entrepreneurs and inspirational role models in their profession. This list comprises nurses who have changed practice for the better, shown visionary thinking, had a major positive impact

and role modelled exceptional behaviours for others to imitate, as well as those whose influence spreads beyond nursing to benefit of the wider healthcare arena. Professor Dewar, who has extensive experience in the field of research, as a nurse and educator, said: “I am delighted to be named in the Nursing Times Leaders list. This is a huge honour and I am extremely proud, and flattered, to be recognised in this way.” Nursing Times editor Jenni Middleton said: “This list celebrates a group of the most influential, intelligent and impactful nurses in the profession, and demonstrates the

The Nursing Times Leaders recognises and celebrates nurses and midwives who are pioneers, entrepreneurs and inspirational role models in their profession huge contribution nurses and midwives make to defining and implementing excellent patient care. I hope they will inspire others in the profession to have the confidence to achieve their full potential, and highlight to the wider public just how far nursing has come in the past two decades. “Nurses are no longer junior partners in healthcare – they influence all levels of healthcare from clinical practice to government policy, and patients benefit from their skills and insight.”


Brian Wilson Sales Director of Future Sales Factory presenting their Armed Forces Covenant to Lt. Col Doug Mackay, Commander of Edinburgh Garrison, with The Rt. Hon. Donald Wilson Lord Lieutenant and Lord Provost of the City of Edinburgh.

Defence Employer Recognition Scheme recipients met the Prime Minister at 10 Downing Street.

The Armed Forces Covenant is a promise by the nation, ensuring that those who serve or have served in the Armed Forces, and their families, are treated fairly. The Covenant has just been rebranded and now has a clear visual identity. So why not publicly declare your commitment to our Armed Forces by signing up? In doing so you would be among the first UK companies to show your support. Minister for Defence Personnel and Veterans, Mark Lancaster, said: “Armed Forces personnel and their families make many sacrifices through their service to keep Britain safe. They can face challenges accessing commercial and public services that we take for granted, so the Armed Forces Covenant is a promise from the nation to ensure that the Armed Forces community is treated fairly, and recognise their particular challenges.” Signing up to the Covenant is straightforward and sets companies on the path to further recognition for their pledge in the form of the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS). The scheme encourages employers to support defence and inspire others to do the same. The prestigious Bronze, Silver and Gold awards are for employer organisations that pledge, demonstrate or advocate support to defence and the Armed Forces community, and align their values with the Armed Forces Covenant. The ERS awards culminate with ceremonies to recognise the efforts of the Silver and Gold award winners. The Silver winners were thanked during a dinner at Edinburgh Castle’s Great Hall while the Gold award winners were invited to meet the Prime Minister at 10 Downing Street where he showed his gratitude for their support.

Future Sales Factory specialise in improving the effectiveness of a companies’ salesforce through training, process management or motivation – all areas which can be closely linked to working with the military. The event was organised by Lowland Reserve Forces’ and Cadets’ Association, which provides a local interface between employers and Armed Forces Reservists. For more about the Covenant and what it means for you, visit You can also contact Susan Flintoff or Colin Vooght, the Lowland Reserve Forces’ and Cadets’ Association’s Regional Employer Engagement Directors on 0141 945 6751 or email

Future Sales Factory, based in Edinburgh, were delighted to sign and present their Covenant at a prestigious ceremony held at Edinburgh City Chambers in November 2015. The presentation was witnessed by The Rt. Hon. Donald Wilson, Lord Lieutenant and Lord Provost of the City of Edinburgh with Lieutenant Colonel Doug Mackay, Commander of Edinburgh Garrison.

Proudly supporting those who serve.

@Ease Catering

New members are the lifeblood of the Lanarkshire Chamber of Commerce and, as ever, we are delighted to welcome each of them with a profileraising focus in every issue. All members are, of course, equal, but there is a particular pleasure among the Chamber’s office-bearers that Media Scotland, an influential arm of Trinity Mirror, the UK-wide national and local newspaper publishing business whose roots run deep among communities in Lanarkshire, has decided to join our ranks.



Michael Gallagher, Account Manager


Glasgow-based @Ease Catering is a company run by the team which also manages Blais restaurant in Newarthill, Motherwell. Its aim is to provide exquisite service and culinary excellence at all of the events and special occasions where it provides its hospitality services. A reliable and professional catering company, it covers the North, South, East and West of Scotland. @Ease Catering specialises in large corporate hospitality functions including, weddings, buffets and high-end private dining. It offers recipes that will tease customers’ taste buds and make their mouths water to make sure they keep coming back. Its team of excellent chefs have helped to run, organise and deliver some of the country’s biggest and most successful events. The company’s expertise in all types of corporate events, weddings, outdoor catering and home catering stems from more tghan 18 years in the events and food industry. @Ease Catering is a highly-reputable catering business dedicated to ensuring that its customers’ special events and catering needs are fulfilled to the highest level. To learn more go to

Simply Better Business Simply Better Business, based in Strathclyde Business Park, Bellshill and West Regent Street, Glasgow, helps and guides its clients on how to secure business support. It covers the rest of the UK from regional centres in Manchester, Sheffield and London. With directors who have more than 100 years’ experience and 15 members of staff, it assists all sorts and size of employer clients. Simply Better Business provides entrepreneurs with services to fulfil their obligations in all the business issues concerning compliance, fiscal and legal duties that impact upon all employers in the UK. These include HR insurance, HR performance, employment law, payroll, employee benefits and workplace pensions. Many employers seek assistance in these areas and in particular their workplace pensions legal obligations as they do not have the necessary time and knowledge on precisely what the law obliges them to do or how they need to remain compliant with the legislation to avoid penalties from the Pensions Regulator. Simply Better Business can offer employers of any size the help which will allow them to concentrate on what they do best - running their business. It will take care of all of the legal and compliance issues they face including, not least, workplace pensions.

CHECK OUT for details of events over the coming months

Trinity Mirror


Media Scotland is the proud publisher of Lanarkshire’s important weekly newspapers. Some of its titles have been serving their communities for more than150 years and they continue to play an important role in the towns and villages they serve. The Hamilton Advertiser and its Lanark edition, the Airdrie and Coatbridge Advertiser, the East Kilbride News, the Wishaw Press and the Rutherglen Reformer are a vital part of Lanarkshire life providing readers with all the latest news, sport and features and providing advertisers with a vehicle to promote their businesses and services. In addition these local newspapers campaign on important local issues and represent the interest of their readers. Their intimation columns give readers the opportunity to share their important family news, while their reporters cover the topics that matter; from councils to courts, elections to gala days, Media Scotland staff are on hand to cover the news and capture the pictures that matter. The newspapers’ increasing online presence via its website and other social media outlets means that it reaches also a much wider, sometimes even global, audience. In total Media Scotland’s 17 market-leading local titles published across eight regions of Scotland, enable advertisers to reach 360,000 Scottish adults every week with Media Scotland’s regional portfolio. With 472,000 readers and 1.78 million opportunities to be seen each month. (Source: Jicreg April 2015) Media Scotland titles must be considered seriously by all Lanarkshire businesses which needs to reach out to its customers.

Blais Cafe/Bistro is a Scottish restaurant based in Newarthill, Motherwell. The word Blais is Gaelic for flavour or taste. Its aim is to deliver to its customers fresh, affordable food using locally sourced produce and Scottish suppliers. Blais has created a relaxing atmosphere were diners can relax, drink and eat while being looked after by its professional staff. It is owned and managed by John Buskie, a chef for more than 18 years with a background of planning and delivering some of the country’s biggest events including being the executive chef for the main athletics stadium at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow 2014. John was also one of three chefs nominated for the contract catering chef of the year awards and his other achievements include the annual Hits Scotland charity dinner where he worked alongside some of the most celebrated chefs in Scotland. Nowadays his focus is on making Blais one of the best restaurants in Lanarkshire.

Rutherglen Reformer Circulation: 2,530 Readership: 6,662

These figures demonstrate Media Scotland’s pole position in the Lanarkshire business and consumer marketplace.

Superseal is an established Glasgow-based home improvements business with more than 25 years’ experience in the home improvement industry. Named as Scotland’s most eco-friendly company at the Scottish Home Improvement Awards, Superseal is dedicated to supplying its many customers with the most contemporary and efficient green energy solutions to satisfy their domestic energy needs, including central heating management systems, infrared clear heating, heat pumps, and solar photo voltaic panels to save on heating bills and enhance the value of customers’ homes. Superseal is dedicated to providing its customers with full satisfaction from its one stop shop that offers a range of first class home improvements as well a whole house solution that not only transforms the look of a property but also makes it more energy efficient. All Superseal employees and associates are highly trained in their individual fields. No matter what improvement customers require, the company has the ability to satisfy their needs and to exceed their expectations. Its product portfolio has expanded recently to include an increasingly popular and proven range of products with energy saving benefits to help customers reduce their home’s carbon footprint. For more information, check out Superseal’s wide range of eco-friendly products by going to


East Kilbride News Circulation: 6,762 Readership: 18,503

Hamilton Advertiser Circulation: 12,553 Readership: 33,504



Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser Circulation: 9,447 Readership: 25,160

For more information go to


Restoration: St Mary’s Episcopal Church in Auchingramont Road, Hamilton.

It never hurts to ask Minister’s enterprise is rewarded with £25,000 from the Sultan





nterprise is not confined to the business community in Lanarkshire – a local man of the cloth has demonstrated that he is as adept at raising crucial funding as the men in the pin-striped suits. The Rev. Ian Barcroft, of St Mary’s Episcopal Church in Hamilton, has been working to raise £900,000 for an ongoing restoration project, part of which was the repair of two venerable battle flags of the Cameronians (Scottish Rifles), the former regiment which is inextricably linked with the town. In a use of contacts which would impress any networking event, Mr Barcroft discovered that the Sultan of Oman, HM Sultan Qaboos bin Said, served as an officer with the 1st Battalion of the Cameronians in Germany in the early sixties, and got in touch to solicit support. He told the Times newspaper that his congregation thought he was “off his head” for making such an approach – but an Oman embassy official contacted the minister and, the next day, a cheque arrived for £25,000.

The money will help restoration work to continue at the impressive church in Auchingramont Road. The project is designed to respond to the needs of the wider community by improving the premises with better facilities and creating a social enterprise. The historic military flags have been removed for conservation by the Scottish Conservation Studio. The Cameronians were a unique part of Scottish history for more than 300 years. The Regiment was formed in one day on May 14, 1689, and disbanded on May 14, 1968, at a parade at which the salute was taken by the 14th Duke of Hamilton. The raising of the regiment and the disbandment took place on the same spot, Castle Dangerous, Douglas.

The Cameronians were a unique part of Scottish history for more than 300 years Sultan Qaboos bin Said’s service with the Cameronians is one of many links between the former regiment and the desert kingdoms. Balmoral bonnets are worn to this day by soldiers of the Sultan of Muscat’s Armed Forces. Such was the gratitude of the then Sultan after an operation in Oman in his support by the 1st Battalion in 1957 that he copied this headdress for his own army.

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n the world’s biggest cities, economists are often tempted to abandon their calculators and rely on the Crane Index – a shorthand means of determining commercial activity by counting the number of cranes on the skyline involved in major construction projects. In a more suburban setting, some number crunchers cleave to the Skip Index – the number of skips in local streets indicating that spending is taking place and money is being pumped into neighbourhood shops and businesses.

In Lanarkshire, a good indicator could be the Scaffolding Index – a sure sign that building work is taking place at a prodigious enough rate to confirm that the local economy is continuing in rude health. And the scaffolding is going up all over the county as projects which have been delayed or postponed over the recessionary years come on line and construction companies – both national and local – get out their hods and hard hats to make their lasting mark on the built landscape.




The construction industry in Lanarkshire is building for the future




The scaffolding is going up all over Lanarkshire.


Lanarkshire has always been a county of builders. From the grandeur of the Duke of Hamilton’s Mausoleum and the glories of Chatelherault to the masonry of the Main Street in virtually every Lanarkshire town, the skill and pride of the builders is clearly in evidence. But while the craftsmen and tradesmen of the past have their achievements carved in stone, today’s builders are also in the running for the glittering prizes with buildings which are at the cutting edge of design and technology. The £1.8 million Maggie’s Cancer Caring Centre, a study in glass and lace-like brick set in the car parks of the Monklands District Hospital in Airdrie, Lanarkshire, was one of six UK buildings to be shortlisted for the 2015 Riba Stirling Prize for architecture.

At the moment, the construction companies involved are engaged in the gargantuan task of operating a tightly constrained building site with massive heavy machinery while surrounded by several lanes of fast-flowing traffic. The builders of the Pyramids never faced these particular problems. In East Kilbride, 2015 has seen the transformation of the iconic Olympia Arcade in East Kilbride into a multi-million pound, 70,000 sq ft leisure and entertainment hub with a new 24-hour gym and a host of new food outlets alongside the existing ice-rink and Odeon Cinema. And the scaffolding has been going up all over Lanarkshire in recent years as North Lanarkshire Council pushes ahead with its multi-million council house construction programme Building for the Future. Started five years ago, the programme aimed to provide 500 quality, sustainable affordable homes throughout the county and projects have gone ahead in Holytown, Ravenscraig, Cambusnethan, Clarkston, Cumbernauld, Millerstown, Moodiesburn and Viewpark. The council has also kept local building firms busy with a £37 million investment in improving the existing housing stock, providing insulation and heating upgrades to make them warmer, safer and more modern. The private sector has been busy with the scaffolding as well, with a number of new developments springing up over recent years in both North and South Lanarkshire council areas.

Lanarkshire has always been a county of builders, the skill and pride of the buyilders is clearly in evidence On a different scale entirely is the complex engineering task of constructing a new three-level junction at the Raith Interchange in North Lanarkshire as part of the £500 million M8 M73 M74 Motorway Improvements Project which will see the six-mile “missing link” completed on the M8.

A good indicator could be the Scaffolding Index – a sure sign that building work is taking place at a prodigious enough rate to confirm that the local economy is continuing in rude health

While the construction industry in Lanarkshire, and in Scotland as a whole, is in current good health, there are concerns at high levels about the state of the sector as it goes forward, particularly surrounding potential skills shortages. An ageing population of skilled tradesmen, gaps in the training regime during the economic downturn and a negative perception of careers in the industry are all contributing to stirrings of unease about the future. Earlier this year, a leading housebuilding executive warned that Scotland is facing a crisis over a lack of skilled workers in the construction industry.

Mr Mickel said: “There is certainly a shortage of skills in trade and we are seeing that on sites on a daily basis. More recently, it has been a struggle to get the level of person or the actual criteria that you want filled.”

Construction workers on project on outskirts of Wishaw.


Mr Ross Mickel is a senior executive with Mactaggart & Mickel and runs the company’s timber frame business. He said in May that the issue of skilled workers was “rising up our risk register incredibly quickly”.


Taylor Wimpey is engaged in a multi-million pound development at Newton Farm, Newton Village, in Cambuslang, South Lanarkshire, which is providing 114 two, three and four bedroom family homes. The firm also has sites at Ravenscraig and at Torrance Park in Holytown, North Lanarkshire, where it is building a development of three, four and five bedroom detached family homes close the US PGA specification Torrance Park Golf Course. Volume builder Persimmon has an extensive portfolio of projects across the length and breadth of Lanarkshire, with current and future projects in towns such as Cambuslang, Carluke, Coatbridge, Hamilton, Holytown, and Larkhall. As one of Scotland’s largest sectors, construction employs around 172,000 people ranging from architects to civil engineers and sub contractors dealing with raw materials, and contributes about 10% of the total gross added value to the Scottish economy. Lanarkshire’s location has contributed to making construction a key sector and there are more than 2,000 companies in the region employing almost 19,000 people in companies such as major industry players Morgan Sindall and Laing O’ Rouke through to specialist lighting contractors Phoenix Specialist Solutions. Education and local council support also work in partnership to ensure there is a steady flow of labour. Colleges run courses in HNC construction, carpentry and joinery and there are also apprenticeships that have been developed with companies in the sector to keep up with the rise in construction orders. As confidence returns across a range of sectors in Lanarkshire, the building industry infrastructure is in place to provide a high quality offering, innovative thinking and a truly constructive approach.


New Year is ideal time to draw up plans to apply for lottery funds





he start of a New Year is always a good time for reflection and making plans for the year ahead. So if you’re involved with a local charitable group, it is the ideal time to be thinking about applying for funding for a key project from Big Lottery Fund. Big Lottery Fund Scotland recently opened a new five-year £250 million funding scheme, with a focus on helping people and communities most in need. Between now and 2020, groups across Scotland can apply for grants from £10,000 to £1 million to help finance life changing projects which are community-led or will improve lives. The first of the new grants will be announced in early 2016. Newmains Community Trust in Lanarkshire was highlighted as an ideal example of the type of organisation Big Lottery Fund wants to work with. The Trust’s Community Hub project brings to life a people-led approach as it gave the people of Newmains the chance to set their Robert Arthur, Chairman, own local priorities on how Lottery Newmains Community Trust. money should be spent within their local area. The Trust, which runs the multi-purpose community facility, is made up of people who live locally and they bring a dynamic mix of skills, experience and knowledge to the table. Robert Arthur, Chairman, Newmains Community Trust, said; “It may seem obvious but the most important thing is to give the local community what they want. It’s no use having a brand-spanking new

building which is not going to be any use to people who live here. They have to be involved at every stage.

Newmains Community Trust in Lanarkshire was highlighted as an ideal example of the type of organisation Big Lottery Fund wants to work with “The key is to do lots and lots of consultation and to keep on doing it. We spoke to local community groups, local businesses and went into schools as well. For us, being people-led is all about inclusion not exclusion and involving all the members of your community from one through to 100.” A Big Lottery Fund Scotland spokesperson said: “We think Newmains Community Trust is a great example of activity which is people-led, and we look forward to receiving applications from similar organisations. “We are sure our new approach will ensure our Lottery funds make a truly life-changing and inspirational difference to people across Scotland.” Big Lottery Fund is the leading non statutory funder of the voluntary and community sector and since 2006 has awarded over £729 million to more than 21,000 projects across Scotland. For more information, visit scotland

Laura Birrell: getting to the foot of the problem.

New Business A sticky solution to an age old problem Lanarkshire invention is set to take the fashion world by storm and solve an age old problem which has baffled woman for years – how to keep shoes from slipping off their feet. Sticky Heelz, a two-part system that hooks a shoe onto the wearer’s heel, is the brainchild of Cambuslang-based Laura Birrell who was inspired to solve the problem after she bought a pair of Christian Louboutin shoes that were half a size too big 10 years ago. She said: “It may seem a trivial problem to some, but it drove me mad. We all have a pair of beautiful shoes, like my Louboutins, that are difficult to walk in or shoes that have loosened through wear, that rub or move around when worn for any period of time. I became fixated with finding a solution, it literally kept me awake at night. “It’s an exciting time for the business, and feedback is overwhelmingly positive. Without the clout of a big brand behind me it has been harder, and taken a lot longer, to bring the product to market. I’ve learned that drive, determination and self-belief are powerful attributes that have helped me clear numerous hurdles I didn’t expect to face.” Working with a product design company, Laura turned her initial prototype, made out of sticky back plasters and Velcro, into the unique system which not only ensures shoes stay firmly in place, but also reduces friction and keeps painful blisters at bay.

With branding, ICT and intellectual property (IP) advice gained through Business Gateway, she launched Sticky Heelz in October last year, initially selling via The system, which retails for £9.95 for four heel and two shoe pads, provides a robust connection once the wearer inserts her foot into a shoe joining the two pads

Once the international patent is approved, my plan is to target the American market before launching in the Far East


Laura said: “Business Gateway Lanarkshire saw the potential in my idea right away. They helped me secure funding that allowed me to undertake an IP audit and gain expert SEO advice which I wouldn’t have been able to pay for myself. They also organised an intensive marketing and branding session that made me think about what I was doing and about my packaging – without that help I could well have gone down the wrong road.” Laura said: “Once the international patent is approved, my plan is to target the American market before launching in the Far East using online marketplaces, location-specific websites and distributors.”





Business Gateway Lanarkshire Team

Expert business support when you need it Knowing your business is ready to grow is one thing; putting in place a strategy to manage that expansion can often be quite another – and that is where our expertise can help. At Business Gateway Lanarkshire we can help ambitious growth businesses take their ventures to the next level. Our team of advisers, many of whom have run their own companies or held senior positions within industry, have helped hundreds of businesses to do just that.

Expert Surgeries Looking to increase turnover, take on staff or identify new markets at home and overseas? Our Expert Surgeries address the key issues that matter to local businesses. Running for an hour in The Atrium Business Centre, Coatbridge, the surgeries provide 1:1 advice on specific business issues, including legal, tendering and procurement, HR, marketing, ebiz/website development, trading standards and environmental issues.

Additional Support If you would benefit from some additional support our Expert Advisory Programme service can provide you with analysis, recommendations, contacts and a detailed action plan to help you achieve your goals. The comprehensive

Download our free business support app.

package is tailored to your needs and covers a wide range of topics, including: market development, innovation, R&D, resource efficiency, exporting, internationalisation, and also sector specific advisory help.

Making it Real One business that has received growth support from Business Gateway Lanarkshire is Cumbernauld based specialist clothing company, Prestige Garment Solutions Ltd. Since launching, Prestige has doubled the size of its factory and taken on three additional staff. With Support from Business Gateway Lanarkshire, Prestige has established a firm foothold in the market place and grown year on year. “Right from the start Business Gateway Lanarkshire has supported us, helping us with a number of growth opportunities and a grant application that allowed us to buy specialist machinery,” said managing director Richard McNicol. “This has been instrumental in our growth and given us a competitive edge through increased productivity. Our adviser also provided assistance when gaining ISO accreditation.” To find out how Business Gateway Lanarkshire can help you, visit or call 01236 884 825.

Business Advice • Networking • Events • Routes to Finance • HR • Sales & Marketing

With Business Gateway Lanarkshire’s support, we’ve doubled the size of our factory, taken on new staff and achieved ISO accreditation.

Business Gateway guided us through the start up and growth process. Right from the start Business Gateway Lanarkshire has supported us, helping us with a number of growth opportunities, funding applications and assistance when gaining ISO accreditation. This has been instrumental in our growth and given us a competitive edge through increased productivity. Richard McNicol, Prestige Garment Solutions Ltd

To find out how Business Gateway Lanarkshire can help you, visit or call 01236 884 825

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I Didn’t Get W here I Am Today… Mark Williams is a partner specialising in residential surveys at the Hamilton branch of DM Hall, one of Scotland’s leading firms of Chartered Surveyors

Name: Mark Williams

What does it do? D M Hall is one of Scotland’s leading firms of Chartered Surveyors carrying out surveys of all types of property, both domestic and com mercial, throughout Scotland. How did you get started? I start ed as an apprentice Chartered Surveyor in the early eighties as a 17 year old fresh from school. Was there a particular moment when you realised you were on the path to success? I moved from Glasgow to Hamilton and have been running it since 1997. The moment I got to run my own office was the point I realised things were going pretty well. What constitutes a typical day? There is no typical day when it comes to residential property as I will be called in to inspect everything from a single-en d to a country estate comprising acres of ground, stables and a castle. What keeps you going? A desire to do a good job for our clients. I enjoy being out and abou t in the Lanarkshire countryside seeing a wide variety of prop erties and meeting some wonderful people.

What’s the bit that really irrit ates you? I could moan about all the bureaucracy, red tape and auditing that surveyors have to undergo. However, I look on this as being a good thing as it ensures that all surv eyors are rigorously checked to ensure that they operate to the best professional standards. Who is your ideal employee? Som eone who is hard working, loyal and honest. Who is your nightmare emp loyee? I have not encountered many of these but they are the ones who are lazy and tell lies. If you could pack it all in tomorro w, and still be comfortably off, would you? D efinitely not tomorrow, but maybe at some point in the distant future. If you did, what would be your nex t move? I would love to do something completely differ ent, such as being a dry-stane dyker or a park ranger. Any regrets? I am with Edith Piaf on

that one.


What is your company called? DM Hall Chartered Surveyors

What’s the best part of your day? W hen I chose surveying as a profession part of the reason was to avoid being trapped behind a desk all day long . I feel the best part of the day is travelling the length and brea dth of Lanarkshire and no matter how often I travel thos e roads, every day I see something new.


Age: 5 1



Environmentally speaking, it’s all about balancing risk and reward





he environment surrounds us; it holds both risks and opportunities for our businesses. We rely on it for the supply of raw materials; we derive our fuels from it, and we produce our products and services from it. We also rely on the environment to receive our wastes – solid, liquid and gases – even though we may not always be aware that many of these wastes are associated with our business. My company, P-BLOCK, is a small, flexible environmental consultancy with a difference: we have detailed knowledge and unique experences gained in industry, regulation and accreditation and certification of a wide range of environmental issues affecting business. Our industry experience includes advising a blue-chip company providing IT data centre services to demonstrate compliance with the EU Emission Trading Scheme to manage CO2 emissions from emergency diesel generation plant, supporting Christadelphian Care Homes in meeting its obligations under the Energy Savings Opportunities Scheme (ESOS) and consulting with a chemical company over its waste strategy. In almost all cases our role encompasses development of products from waste streams, permit compliance management, process efficiency waste reviews, waste outlet auditing, certification, business continuity and asset management and, not least, business cost mitigation. P-BLOCK supports companies in identifying and managing environmental risks as well as in optimising the opportunities to secure

reduced operating costs and the efficient provision of new services and products. Large manufacturing industry is subject to increasing legislative demands including environmental permitting and licensing, in for example, pollution prevention and control, greenhouse gas under the EU ETS, consent to discharge and more. Going beyond the legal requirements has also become the norm in big industry. Furthermore, there has been an increase in public demand for unambiguous reporting of environmental issues – think of the reputational and financial impacts on BP and VW following environmental scandals. SMEs too are increasingly expected to stand up and be counted with an increased focus on environmental management systems as a pre-qualification requirement for public contracts. It is not, however, all doom and gloom since environmental consultancies such as ours exist to make sure businesses are aware of the issues and that practical guidance is readily to hand. So what should business owners look out for in 2016? New legislation: changes have been made to legislation addressing issues such as fluorinated gases, licensing of PPC sites, COMAH and hazardous substance storage requirements. If in doubt, give us a call. For more information, visit

Your New Look Credit Union Lanarkshire Credit Union, formerly Blantyre & South Lanarkshire Credit Union is going into the New Year with a whole host of changes. The Credit Union still remains under the same management, board and staff structure with no need to worry.

A New Name Lanarkshire Credit Union was chosen to better represent the area and community that the Credit Union serves. The Credit Union covers all of Lanarkshire, opening its services up to over 600,000 people who live and/or work within the area.

New Look Offices As you may have already noticed, there have been some major changes in the Blantyre office of the Credit Union. These changes were born from member feedback, this helped the board direct their vision for how the new office should look. There are also big changes happening at the Rutherglen office as well, with more to come in the future.

Employee Benefits - New Payroll Deduction Service We’re also providing Payroll Deduction services to employers, to find out more contact us on 01698 711112 or, and we’ll be happy to help.

Offer your employees something more... With ethical loans and savings from a local Credit Union you can trust. Lanarkshire Credit Union are looking to work with employers to provide a great range of products, services and benefits to their employees, to get involved contact us on 01698 711112 or,

01698 711112

Lanarkshire Credit Union is a trading name for Blantyre Credit Union. Registered Office 252 Glasgow Road, Blantyre, Glasgow, G72 0YH. Lanarkshire Credit Union is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority & regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority & the Prudential Regulation Authority. FCA firm reference number: 213669

Keep up with all the latest news: LanCreditUnion @LanCreditUnion




Achieving the successful work-life balance



s a single parent with two children being a business woman never crossed my mind. Business was for men in fancy suits with cutting edge technology. I then realised that business could be exactly what I needed. With a very hectic personal schedule, I realised that working from home could be the best way forward. I set up a small online boutique which sold jewellery and fashion accessories to women just like me. Using savings I was able to combine my love for fashion and my love of the internet to build a small but viable income for my family. The idea of the business was never to grow it to rival the likes of Topshop. The high street brands would never be shaking in their shoes. The business was a way for me to maintain a reasonably good work-life balance. As the business sailed along I noticed that many women were doing the same thing. If they couldn’t get to work (sometimes that can be difficult with children hanging on to your apron), then they were bringing the work to them. Women were running all kinds of successful companies from their kitchen or spare room: bakers, hairdressers, jewellery designers and more.

I was fascinated by this trend and decided to host a local ladies’ day where women could display their talents and advertise their wares. At the same, time local consumers could see what was on the market. Most of these business women had never received any support or advice. They just picked up their tools and started from the ground up. What a fantastic sight to see all these thriving entrepreneurs working together to support each other. Since being elected as a local councillor, I have been unable to juggle the business, office life and being a parent, but my passion for home grown business has never ceased. I love to promote and support women (and men) who are determined that, despite being tied to the home, it won’t make them any less likely to succeed. If we promote these home grown companies they could become a vital part of our local economy. I love the idea of someone who once baked their daughter’s birthday cake, decided they liked it and now makes cakes for weddings that would dazzle and amaze you. It is important that we support small businesses, nourish them and encourage them. If a child sees a parent growing a great love into a viable income, then who knows how many Sir Alan Sugars we are going to have in the future?

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